Instructables

Garden Room - Workshop

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The background to this project is that my daughter was having her home remodelled and the ‘old’ (about 10 years old) UPVC doors and windows were to be discarded. They could have perhaps been sold on eBay but as they would be collection only, this would limit the market somewhat. The builders where quite happy to put them all in the waste skip. I was toying with the idea of building a garden room to use as my stained glass workshop. My present workshop was the house garage and the natural light is quite poor for my hobby. Also everything gets covered in wood dust whenever I do a carpentry project. These double glazed units seemed ideal as the basis of a light and airy workshop/garden room.

 
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Step 1: Planning

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Obviously the Legacy door and window frames would dictate the size and format of the finished building and would need to be designed around regarding their size and format.

I used Visio as a scale design tool. I input all the existing UPVC frame sizes and then played about with possible variations. I wanted to abut the building onto an existing party wall and not protrude too far into the garden. As there was an existing path (although not very good!) I took this as the extremity of the building width. I roughly judged the length to fit in with an existing garden shed and another old path 90degrees to the first one. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the height as low I would have liked as the door frames are full size suited to a main dwelling. This meant the base would need to be of minimal depth  and the roof pitch also kept to the minimal. I had hoped for a greenhouse style pitched roof but this would result in the final building being way too tall. I made some wooden scale models once I had decided the final format to show my neighbours so that they could have some input if they wanted to.

Some other Structural considerations were that I didn’t want the building to overhang my neighbours wall or to lean against it or hang on it. Garden walls aren’t particularly strong structurally and ours was over 100 years old. I also wanted to be able to gather rainwater from it to use in my veg garden. After weeks of planning and deliberation I came up with the offset ridge design. Not as easy to build as first envisaged but it ticked all the boxes.

jcain dodd6 months ago
Love the idea of something like this at my house. Really nice job!
theoblackadder (author)  jcain dodd6 months ago
thank you
breaking it down into stages helps to plan it and to see that its not too difficult to build.
Moltroub9 months ago
Beautiful job! You might want to try a solar fan to keep down the heat with passive ventilation to move the heat out.
theoblackadder (author)  Moltroub9 months ago
thanks for that, if it gets unbearable next summer I'll look into it. I presume the passive ventilation would work in conjunction with the fan. opening only when required? Probably google it if its a problem.
thanks again.
slord310 months ago
This is a really great job, with amazing re-use of materials. Nice and bright. Great stuff. I'm inspired
theoblackadder (author)  slord310 months ago
Thanks for your kind comments. It's good to re use stuff.
If you need any more info just drop me a line.
spiceyweasel10 months ago
Beautifully done.
theoblackadder (author)  spiceyweasel10 months ago
cheers!
Lindie10 months ago
Awesome! NIce job!
theoblackadder (author)  Lindie10 months ago
thanks for taking a look
I love it! Have to show husband your pans. Thank You for sharing. :-)
theoblackadder (author)  Angelsontheisland10 months ago
thanks for your comments. if he follows the plans you'll soon have your own garden room!
Horef10 months ago
WOW! that is just amazing!
theoblackadder (author)  Horef10 months ago
thank you. it was a bit of a production Im glad its done now.
Very well done, must be that Aussie influence at work
Tin Man10 months ago
Very nice job! Soon after I designed my workshop, a friend of mine offered me a set of double-glazed patio doors and a window, at a very good price. This meant raising the roof level by 6", but well worth the trouble. A cheap de-humidifier keeps my machinery and tools rust-free. I put my wshop in for 'shed of the year' competition, (G**gle 'the shedifice'), but sadly no prize. Your wshop is definitely worth entering.
theoblackadder (author)  Tin Man10 months ago
thanks for your kind comments. I had condensation problems with my garage workshop until I insulated the roof, double glazed the windows and draught proofed all the doors. this garden room gets full sun and can actually be a bit too warm some days. Ill see what the winter does to it. I will take a look at that shed site - thanks.
schmitta10 months ago
What camera did you use? Thanks!
theoblackadder (author)  schmitta10 months ago
I used an iPhone 3g as i always have it on me. good enough quality for such a titchy thing though.
schmitta10 months ago
Nice Pictures
theoblackadder (author)  schmitta10 months ago
thanks. I only used an iPhone to take them as its handy.
bradonj10 months ago
Well done, that man.
theoblackadder (author)  bradonj10 months ago
thank you. Im glad my Aussie boy was here to help with the hard graft!
Lovely work. And I echo others' commendations on your recycling and reuse of materials.
My sons and I built a smaller but similar modular structure in our garage.
It now sits 20 feet up in our redwood tree.
The treehouse is likewise overdesigned for safety.
Great work.
theoblackadder (author)  Ricardo Furioso10 months ago
thanks for your comments. its great to re-use stuff, especially in this throw away world. my pneumatic nailer was a real godsend for rough lumber type work. A bit scary to use though.
Natalina10 months ago
This is beautiful. The desk turned out really well, I love the filigree on the side. Did you add that after the fact, or was it part of the original desk?
theoblackadder (author)  Natalina10 months ago
thanks for your positive comments. I bought a wardrobe years ago for 10 shillings at an auction (no one wanted wooden things back then) over the years Ive used pieces of it for different projects and those two carved panels were the only bits left so I pinned them onto the end of the desk just so they could see the light of day - and cover up my rough woodwork.
mretuck10 months ago
Beautiful workshop....and I learned what a matock is.
theoblackadder (author)  mretuck10 months ago
thank you. I used the matock to take out some really difficult small trees that had masses of roots, great tool. I bought one for my neice to use on her allotment and she tells me now all the other allotment holders have since bought one!
WVvan10 months ago
Most excellent re-use of materials. Double plus good.
theoblackadder (author)  WVvan10 months ago
thanks for your comment. its great to use stuff designated as junk eh. I think there is a posh name for it nowadays.
doccat510 months ago
Thank you for sharing. This is marvelous. My DH, while a wonderful man and a great gardener is no carpenter. Fortunately, his brother happens to be a really good one. I'm going to show him this one. I've been wanting a greenhouse set up for the longest time and have been scrounging and stockpiling used windows for such a project. I really like the layout on yours.
theoblackadder (author)  doccat510 months ago
thanks for your positive comments. carpenters would weep if they saw my work! its just chopsaw and nails, not one 'proper' joint (ie mortise and tenon etc) just get stuck in eh! the far end of my garden room was destined to be the 'greenhouse' end, but as I carpeted it all I dont think it will be used now for a greenhouse. I will build a small garden seedtray thingy, just for starting a few seedlings. good luck with your scrounging, its amazing how much stuff is discarded these days. If you need a second option on anything just drop me a line.
dbspeedshop10 months ago
Excellent!! Really good result and nice detailed instructable. Like the wide desk as well, I like a workshop with character!
theoblackadder (author)  dbspeedshop10 months ago
thank you. me too. I always over-engineer things, especially if they are for me and mine. I started with a 5"x2" ridge beam and ended up with a 9"x3"! the smaller one just didnt look right, although Im sure it was quite adequate.
kermit.t10 months ago
fantastic build, I'm attempting something similar myself, but still at the ground preparation stage.
theoblackadder (author)  kermit.t10 months ago
thank you. lets hope this will help you to avoid pitfalls and visulise your finished project. not being 100% square was my main problem, and it didnt become apparant until later on when it was too late to rectify it easily.
good luck
GeoNel10 months ago
Thats a beautiful shed and a great instructible... well done...
theoblackadder (author)  GeoNel10 months ago
thank you. just hope I can inspire some other builds. its fairly easy once you break the process down into stages. Dodging the rain in England brough its own set of problems, and building to avoid our climate is always a challenge. Thanks again for your thumbs up.